What do you get when you combine a campground full of cyclists, a field full of cycling equipment and bike companies with product demo, MTB trails running through the middle of it all, and nearby scenic gravel roads perfect for fall riding? You get the 2017 Bicycle Times Adventure Fest and a memorable weekend.
There were 14 of us from my home club that took off Friday morning headed south towards Stokesville Campground near Mt. Solon, VA. This trip had been on the books for a few months and everyone was excited but no real idea of what to expect. We brought gravel bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids and road bikes (although the latter saw little to no use with the abundant dirt and gravel opportunities).
The campground offered RV hookups, primitive camping in the woods, 4X4 camping and field camping. Plenty of bath houses with water and showers made for a comfortable camping experience while not anything close to what would be considered “glamping.”
The vendor field with plenty of demo bikes and gear to check out and the campground pavilion area were the center of activity with a community bonfire, live music, craft beer and lively conversation about all things bike. The reverse steering bike was a challenge and we were all surprised to see it being ridden easily late on a Saturday night.
We went out for a short gravel ride exploration on Friday afternoon and a longer gravel ride on Saturday. The roads were well marked and offered great fall riding. The highlight of the weekend for me was a demo ride on a Trek Powerfly full suspension e-bike on some flowing singletrack trail.
Be on the lookout for this event next year and be sure not to miss out. I would recommend bringing your gravel and dirt bikes, not because there are not great road rides in the area, but because there is so much MTB fun and gravel opportunities right at your fingertips.